Friday, 25 April 2014

Return To Nerdity

If only the Glasgow post office was staffed by people as good as Pat.  (And with as a good a theme tune.)
No sooner did I return from my cruise then a torrent of nerdy stuff arrived in the post.  I had a parcel awaiting me on my return; the day of my return, another parcel arrived; and this morning another parcel arrived.  I'd better enjoy it while it lasts: the cruise has rather wiped out the Quail's finances!

Cruise Control

The cruise ship, docked in Menorca.

As of yesterday afternoon I return to Glasgow, after one week where I was on a boat.

Well, I'm on a ship, but I want to link to the video as much as you do.

This was a pleasant holiday where there was wandering through Iberian streets, a plentiful variety of food on the ship and much romantic mushiness with my missus who has been my partner now for a decade.

I am one of those rare Scottish people who does not drink alcohol, so I made myself content with non-alcoholic beverages.

Ipso facto I drank a lot of Grenadine.

However, just because I was on a romantic holiday did not mean nerdity stopped.  Me and the good lady were constantly nattering about nerdy things, and a handful of pictures follow which struck me as having nerdy inspiration potential.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

I Am Sailing
The first ship I ever commanded.  (Then I crashed into a space station within about two minutes.)
Afraid there will likely be radio silence for the next week, as the missus and I are on holiday to celebrate our tenth anniversary.

Monday, 14 April 2014

The Art Of The Tease

Tinkering with a LCARS Template
Roleplaying games are a group endeavour, but it's fair to say that in most groups the Games Master is the one doing the most work.  Whether they are called Dungeon Master, Storyteller, Director, Mayor, HōLmeister or what have you, the GM is inevitably required to put a little more (if not a lot more into a game.)  Adventure preparation, book purchasing, prop assembly, miniature painting and even dull stuff like "getting everyone to turn up at the same time" tends to lump on the GM.  Some games are better for this than others, but it's usually true.

This also has the consequence that players aren't always as excited about the game as you are.  Oh, sure, they enjoy it - they turn up, they roll dice, they smile and come back.  But they don't care in the same way a GM does.  They forget rules they've used for months, they give all your NPCs derogatory nicknames, they spend twenty minutes arguing over their favourite episode of Xena: Warrior Princess, they take an hour arguing over which of two paths to take to the dungeon when they know nothing about either path apart from that each goes through the sort of place you get random encounters and ARGH GODDAMNIT JUST PICK ONE ALREADY.

<cough>  I'm not bitter, honest.

The point is, sometimes you have to throw players a bone to keep their attention in the long run.  This is especially true when you have pauses in your play, such as unexpected missed sessions, a pre-planned shutdown for a few weeks while you go on holiday or a rebooted game they haven't played in a year.

It is then I take a leaf out of TV's book and do teaser trailers.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

The Forms Must Be Obeyed: A Dune RPG One-Off

The Beginning Is A Delicate Time...
Way back in the mists of time, my Dad got me Dune II for the Acorn as a Christmas present.  (Yes, we were an Acorn family - I still pine for the days of RiscOS.)  He had seen it somewhere and, remembering that he had enjoyed the Dune film, figured he'd give it a punt.  I ended up enjoying it enough to chase up this film my Dad had mentioned, and then the novel it was based on, and then some of the sequels.... and ended up very much hooked.

I've wanted to run a Dune RPG for a while, but for various reasons it hasn't ever happened.  It came back to mind in the past year or so as I reread my way through all of Dune - finally completing the last of Frank Herbert's sequels.  Still, playing a game set in the world had been only a pipe dream....

Until this Wednesday.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Hobgoblin Completion

Not as many Hobgoblin-article-header-picture options as I'd like
 At this stage I'm pretty happy with what I've done with my Hobgoblins.  They've had a wash, a little bit of highlighting and I think they look pretty good.  A brighter red than I'd intitially intended, mind.

Sunday, 6 April 2014


Second hand weapon not pictured
So, I have painted over the past few days, and managed to finish the base colours on the Hobgoblins. However, I had some technical issues with the models...

Sneaky Gits are an awful model to try and pick up on eBay - I was lucky to get 10 for a non-stupid price but normally they go for silly money.  Therefore, this was a case where my experimenting in casting would hopefully pan out.

However, the end results of my casts were every spotty.  Spindly arms & legs seemed to increase my failure fate, and while I can patch up air bubbles I can't do much if whole sections of body don't form.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

A Colour Scheme Question

UPDATED 02/04/14 - Now includes side-by-side comparison of Hobgoblins and Chaos Dwarfs
So whatever happened to those Hobgoblins, you might ask?  Those ones I presented to you as ready to paint?

Yeah, them.

Well, I have started painting them, but I have a colour scheme question so I'm seeking you, The Internet, to offer your reccomendation.